I was not having a particularly good day today. A brief rain shower had simply turned the world into a steam bath, I've been a little under the weather with a stomach bug, and now I was whittling away at a growing list of chores. The proofs of my new book were waiting at home, begging for me to finish the careful line-editing they needed. I had spend too long standing in lines at the bank and the post office. And now, here I was, standing in another long checkout line at the grocery store.
As the cashier started to sort through and unload my cart in some sort of order known only to her frowning concentration, I could tell that the little old lady behind me was staring intently at my purchases. Now, you need to know two things before you judge what happened:
(1) I'm a little old lady, too. We were both pushing eighty, so you can't accuse me of being "age-ist."
(2) I had the requisite items in there--eggs, zucchini, corn, bread, Ritz crackers, applesauce, peanut butter, bananas--boring stuff--maybe not entirely virtuous but reasonably healthy.
When she caught my eye, she grinned and put her hand on my shoulder:
SHE: "I like your shopping list--wine and cookies--all the necessities."
ME: "And cat food--don't forget the cat food."
SHE: "Absolutely! Life's good!"
And she high-fived me. As our hands met over our heads, i could see that everyone around us was smiling--cashier, bag-girl, customers. My day got better from then on.